Staying Fit When I Can’t Get Outside

I want to stay fit to last longer while biking (my favorite sport in case you are new to this blog), either for recreation or competition. There are times when you don’t want to go out—such as a cold, rainy day. I read about the new trampoline workout you can do at home at If you have a small one, you can do it in the garage, but I bought a large size so I could do more advanced “tricks.” I had to start very slowly as there are safety concerns and you want to know what you are doing. Attend a gym class or get a coach at first if you are a complete novice.

When you learn the basics of the trampoline, and I am not talking about jumping up and down like a kid at a birthday party, you progress from one simple move to the next. It gets harder and more complex, and you really can develop coordination. I watched, learned, and listened and soon had the tuck jump down. I didn’t start with a double front somersault. I wanted to avoid injury and any unforeseen consequences. You don’t protect your knees or neck in this endeavor. There is no special gear. I think it is cumbersome and, to me, interferes with balance.

It is so much fun that I just have to tell you some of the technique right now to get you interested. It feels great to be buoyant and in control. It is so different from riding a bicycle. There is little connection other than the fact that your legs are stronger and you feel more limber. For example, when you do a tuck jump, you use all parts of the body to get the rotation you need. In this move, you bring your knees to your chest and circle your knees with your outreaching arms. I find this a great back stretch.

The straddle and pike jumps improve balance and prepare you for more advanced techniques. Just like it sounds, the straddle involves spreading the legs at 90 degrees. While you are parallel to the trampoline—another great stretch. If you touch your toes, you are a pro! The pike is similar except that the legs stay together. You feel like a real gymnast. Next come half and full twists, which are simple spins in the air. If you want to get fancy, do two.

I also love seat landings in which you end up on the mat with your toes pointed before you. Since you try to keep a straight back, this is a wonderful all-around exercise. You can combine a seat landing with a half twist to get up. Skill is required to get the hips up. Front and back landings are the forte of a more advanced trampoline artist. I don’t do these at home because I would prefer a “spotter” standing by. No matter. I get a lot more done.